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    Friday, 4 May 2007

    Losing the plot: comment on Douglas v Hello!

    Simon Jenkins has a piece in the Guardian, well more of a tirade, on the Douglas v Hello! case. Its entertaining at least, but underneath all the bluster of the article, it seems to me that Mr Jenkins has two real complaints (both of which are valid enough):

    First, he doesn't like the inane rich or the flaunting of their ridiculous privileges (or perhaps he's upset by the system that aggrandises such people to such an extent).

    Secondly, he's fearful of the emergence/development of a privacy law incrementally through the courts, and not - if at all - in Parliament. In the latter forum (at least in theory) debate could be informed by the full raft of issues rather than just those incidentally presented to a court on a given day. Of course the concern there is that even if a privacy law was clearly necessary, one couldn't rely on politicians to produce it given their in hoc-edness to the Press.

    1 comment:

    Eoin said...

    Careful what you wish for. Ad hoc, casuistic, case-by-case development might not be so bad, if the alternative is a Privacy Bill like that introduced in the Irish Seanad (Senate) last July. On first blush, it seems fine; but on closer examination, it emerges as a badly drafted Bill, fixated on preventing press discolures of private facts about politicians, without properly protecting freedom of expression, and with no real sense of preventing other, more serious and pervasive, invasions of privacy. Thankfully, it fell when the current general election was called last weekend, and it remains to be seen whether any incoming government will revive it.

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